The Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Zacch Adedeji, said records had shown that Nigeria is recording steady and appreciable progress in the implementation of the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).

He observed that seven years into the policy and with three more years to go, the sector had attracted over N250 billion worth of investments through its backward integration programme, even as more investors have expressed interest in the sector.

He affirmed that recently a new investor, KIA Group Africa completed the process of acquiring the defunct Nigeria Sugar Company (NISUCO) in Bacita, Kwara State, and has since commenced work. The KIA Group now joins existing players like Dangote Group, BUA Group and Flour Mills to drive the backward integration component of the NSMP.

The NSMP is a 10-year blueprint designed to revitalise the sector and make Nigeria a net exporter of the commodity.

Adedeji stressed: “For the records, the NSMP is a 10-year ambitious and well-thought-out policy framework for the sector, which seeks to bring about a complete overhaul of the sector to enable Nigeria to become self-sufficient in sugar production, create direct and indirect jobs, generate electricity, become a notable global sugar producer as well as produce ethanol for industrial use.

“Recall that the Federal Executive Council had at its 37th meeting held on September 19, 2012, approved the NSMP for implementation and adoption as a government strategy roadmap for the development of the sugar sub-sector. Actual implementation began in 2013.”

He said the new player has set its eyes on producing at least 300,000 metric tonnes of sugarcane, refining an estimated 204,000 metric tonnes of the commodity while generating N46 billion revenue by 2027.

He added that a workforce of about 20,000 employees would be engaged to drive the company towards optimum production and ensure the economic growth of the country.

Meanwhile, another major player in the industry, Flour Mills recently signed a multi-millionaire agreement with the Nasarawa State Government to build a factory in Toto Local Government Area of the state.

The new project will boost the company’s N50 billion Golden Sugar Estate in Sunti Niger State, which was commissioned in 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari.